man digging out his car from snow
Photo: Jessica Rinaldi
Sure, you've got to get rid of that blanket of snow so you won't fall on your keister on the way to the car, but watch out for another kind of injury: dinging up your driveway's surface. Check out our handy tips for avoiding premature wear and tear.

ASPHALT

Watch Out For: Badly cracked or brittle material. Aggressive shoveling or plowing on an uneven surface can chip off chunks of asphalt.

Best Practices: Keep shovels and snowblower or plow blades at least a half-inch off the surface. If your driveway is badly aged, consider repaving it.

CONCRETE

Watch Out For: Rock salt used for de-icing. The salt enters through cracks and corrodes the steel reinforcements embedded in the concrete, forcing early replacement.

Best Practices: Use calcium chloride instead, which is less corrosive, and follow package instructions. Seal your driveway every three to five years to protect rebar.

PAVERS OR BRICK

Watch Out For: Pavers or bricks that protrude from the driveway surface. They can be damaged by the tips of metal shovels or the blades of snowblowers or plows.

Best Practices: Plastic and nonmetal shovels are your best bet for getting rid of snow. And when the thaw comes, tamp down any pavers or bricks that stick up.

CRUSHED STONE OR GRAVEL

Watch Out For: Above-freezing temps. When snow melts into the surface, getting rid of the icky slush without disturbing the stones is nearly impossible.

Best Practices: Get rid of snow when temps are low, and keep shovels and snowblower or plow blades at least 1 inch off the surface. Place piles of snow in one area so lost stones can be recovered.
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